Sports 08-11-2011

Help keep me in the loop

If a parent has any info/photo of their child participating in a sports or recreational activity (elementary school, high school, college, or otherwise), please E-Mail me at [email protected] and I will be sure to include the info/photo in a column.  I’d also love to hear about any honor roll students or scholar athletes, or just about any story which would recognize the accomplishments of past and present “Townies.”

Honor Roll call

Katherine Pierce received Faculty Honors at Trinity College for the Spring 2011 semester…Upcoming Malden Catholic senior Nolan Carrier achieved Second Honors for the 2011 academic year…Caitlin LeBlanc was named to the Dean’s List at Middlesex Community College.

Little League news

The annual Medford Invitational Tournament (MIT) has begun play and features some of the best Little League teams in Massachusetts.  All of the games are played at Columbus Park in Medford and the tournament directors do a sensational job of providing entertainment for both the players and spectators.  Charlestown coach Tom Ward leads the “Townie” squad who are more than capable of stirring the MIT pot.

In addition, Charlestown All Star teams are competing in the 9/10 year-old and 11/12 year-old divisions of the District 9 Jimmy Fund tournament.  Visit the Charlestown Little League website at–l-l for a list of upcoming games and results.

Kitchen Cup

Kudos to the organizers and participants of the well-attended Kitchen Cup street hockey tourney, annually held at Eden Street Park.  The competition featured a veritable “Who’s Who” of past and present “Townie” hockey stars, as well as other communities, and was highlighted by a sensational display of skills, talent and, more importantly, good sportsmanship.

The patriotic squirrel: a true story

The bundle of American flags was somewhere in the cellar but I forgot where I had stored them.  I use the flags on Memorial Day and Veterans Day; my kids and I visit the site of the Merchant Marine memorial located on Medford Street, say a prayer for my Uncle Edward “Mugsy” Kelly and place a flag alongside the plaque which lists the names of “Townies” who made the ultimate sacrifice.  My Uncle Eddie died on February 23, 1943 when his ship, the SS Jonathan Sturges, was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Newfoundland.

I eventually came across the flags while cleaning out the cellar; it was the Fourth of July weekend – an omen.  With an impulse to do something with them, but not exactly sure what, I came up with an idea while sitting at the kitchen table nursing a cup of coffee.  I’d space the flags across top of our stockade fence.

I was proud of my cleverness and immediately set about the task of securing the flags to the fence posts.  Each flag (4” x 6”) was attached to a foot-long stick and I had no problem at all wedging them snuggly alongside the posts.  After completing the chore, I returned to the kitchen to admire my show of patriotism; which was visible through the bay window.  I was also able to see across the top of the fence into my neighbor’s kitchen, as some “Townie” residents can do, whereby he smiled at the new display and gave me an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

The next morning, while reading the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge and enjoying pancakes and sausages, I looked through the window and noticed that three of the newly-displayed flags were missing.  I assumed that, perhaps, the wind may have blown them onto the ground overnight so I went outside to investigate, but, they were nowhere to be found on either side of the fence.  Dumbfounded, I returned to the kitchen to finish my breakfast.

Moments later, out of the corner of my eye I detected movement along the top of the fence; I looked up and witnessed a squirrel speed by with one of my American flags firmly clamped in its jaws.  Flabbergasted, I headed outside but by the time I reached the backyard the squirrel had disappeared.  I also noticed that there were only two flags remaining from the seven I had installed the previous day.  I was miffed.

The squirrel’s demise moved quickly to the top of my priority list.  I retrieved a baseball bat from the cellar and, with a malice-filled heart, stood watch from the kitchen window waiting for the culprit’s return.  Three of my children entered the kitchen and inquired about my wielding a baseball bat for no apparent reason.  While re-telling the flag incident to my unbelieving children, who nodded patronizingly, the villain – once again – made a mad dash along the fence towards the remaining flags.

My kids and I quickly went out to the porch, which was located beside the utility pole that the squirrel was using to beat a hasty retreat.  We noticed that this was no ordinary squirrel.  In addition to being extraordinarily large, the squirrel was missing its’ left arm.  We stood in amazement as the squirrel used its jaws to violently shake the American flag loose from the fence post; position it horizontally in its mouth; and do an about-face toward the pole.

The grit, determination and unyielding spirit of the squirrel won us over as we rooted for it to navigate from the fence to the pole and, eventually, to the neighbor’s roof and out of sight.  As a matter of principle, I removed the last American flag from my fence and put it back in the cellar, remembering where I placed it.

As I’m occasionally reminded, I should have videotaped the squirrel and raked in the $10,000 first prize on America’s Funniest Videos.  Hindsight is surely 20/20.  I would still like to know, however, what in “tarnation” that squirrel was doing with the flags.

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